T-Mobile on iPhone-buying shopping spree?

Shopping trolley icon on computer keyboard

The future of the iPhone has once again been thrown into the spotlight with reports suggesting that T-Mobile is stockpiling SIM-free versions of the device and that Apple is ready to cosy up to multiple network partners, instead of just O2.

It has been suggested that T-Mobile is planning to buy unlocked iPhone 3GS handsets en masse in Europe to circumnavigate the exclusive hold that O2 has on the device over here.

A report in the Telegraph said that T-Mobile sources had claimed that "Apple's contract with O2 does not prevent other companies importing SIM-free iPhones from abroad."

When asked to confirm whether this was the case, a T-Mobile spokesperson told IT PRO that no official comment was available.

Similarly, O2 remained fairly tight-lipped about suggestions that Apple is thinking about opening up network availability for its two older iPhone generations outside of the mobile giant's fold.

"We have a multi-year agreement with Apple to sell iPhone in the UK," an O2 spokesperson told IT PRO. "This relationship continues."

Some reports have alluded to O2's exclusivity deal ending in September this year, although this remains, as yet, unconfirmed.

Apple had not responded to our request for comment at the time of publication.

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.